Men’s Basketball 2022 | Photo by Monica Brutto | The Wright State Guardian
Wright State men’s basketball took its home opener to double overtime against the Davidson Wildcats but could not close out the win, falling 102-97.
Despite coming back from being down seven in the first overtime, fouls and free-throws gave Davidson the edge.
While losing the first game of the year is crushing for a new team, fighting an Atlantic-10 powerhouse to the end is a good sign heading into Louisville on Saturday and Bowling Green the following week.
For Scott Nagy, head coach for WSU, the most impressive aspect of the game is that even when momentum was not on the Raiders’ side, the team did not quit.
“Being down seven with a minute and a half to go and getting back in the game, those are the kind of things that lifted our team last year. When things didn’t look good, they didn’t quit,” Nagy said.
Tonight was a good indicator of the big points the WSU offense will run on this year, specifically Trey Calvin and Amari Davis on offense, as well as hustle and rebounding opportunities.
Calvin exploded at the start of the game, finishing the first half with 17 points to lead WSU to a 52-36 lead at the break. Calvin finished the game with 37 points, a career high. Davis had a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds in a Wright State debut.
“It’s great to see him do what he did for us tonight. 13 rebounds and 17 points is a dang good basketball game for his first game at Wright State,” Nagy said. “He always shoots a high percentage, he just does.”
For Davis, who played at Trotwood-Madison High School here in Dayton, playing at Wright State gives a feeling of being in high school.
“Like high school all over again, to be honest. It was a nice crowd that showed up today. Students were there too, so it was like Trotwood all over again,” Davis said.
Davis started at Green Bay and was a massive attacking threat against WSU, but now the senior guard can combine with the other offensive outlets the Raiders have.
“I remember playing against him, he’s scoring 30 or 35 on me. So, it’s good to have him on my side now,” Calvin said.
Looking to Louisville
A loss to start the season when victory was so close stings for the Raiders, but the team has to look forward to its next game. With Davidson likely being the hardest opponent in the regular season, the Raider team is optimistic about its chances on Saturday.
“Louisville doesn’t know who they are as a team either, and they are a team that we can beat,” Davis said. “I don’t think they’re better than Davidson, so for sure, we’re confident going into that, and I think we can win.”
For improvements going forward, the Raiders gave up far too many free throws for Davidson to come back. The Wildcats attempted 36 free throws throughout the game, whereas WSU could only attempt 15. This gave the Wildcats 22 free points.
“It’s too hard to win games when they make more free throws than you attempt,” Nagy said. “I mean, that’s what we’re trying to do to people.”
Lack of free throws coupled with diminishing offensive capitalization for WSU gave the Wildcat team the space it needed to come back in the game and upset the Raiders on home court.
“We just had too many empty possessions on offense, a couple turnovers,” Davis said. “When their best player gets going, it only takes one shot for them to go.”
The Raiders look ahead to take on Louisville on Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. ESPN+ will stream the action.